Takeout and delivery programs are much more than a convenience for young adult consumers ages 18-34, according to a new nationwide survey from Y-Pulse. Insight from this new study suggests that a well crafted takeout and delivery program can build awareness, encourage new product trial and strengthen relationships with this sought-after demographic.

Young adult consumers are well known for their tech savvy behavior especially when it comes to restaurant ordering and engagement. Foodservice operators often rely on social media to stay engaged with their customers, however, takeout and delivery programs can play a powerful role in building business and customer connections. While 62% of the survey respondents said they engage their favorite restaurants on social media, 75% said they like to visit a restaurant to pick up takeout food. 

Renee Ragin, chef partner at Chicago’s Kite String Cantina, offered expansive meal kits during pandemic mandated restrictions. She noted that their customers enjoyed coming to the restaurant to pick up meals even if it was just to chat from a distance with the windows open. She said, “By reaching out and staying in touch with customers through social media and word of mouth, we were able to expand our reach to people who may have never even set foot in our establishment but liked what we were doing.”

Results of this new study point to the sustained ability of takeout to build customer connections. 83% of respondents to the study agreed that they were willing to drive a distance to pick up food from a restaurant they really liked. 72% of the 18-34 year olds who participated in this study also said they would buy grocery items at a local restaurant.

“There is an important business building aspect of takeout and delivery programs that may be overlooked because most foodservice operators often focus on the technical aspects of order accuracy and delivering a taste experience that travels well,” said Sharon Olson, executive director of Y-Pulse. “The majority of participants in our survey said they like to try new restaurants and new menu items when they order takeout or delivery.”

The study findings suggest that a well considered takeout and delivery program can build awareness for restaurants with 70% of respondents saying they have learned about new restaurants because of a unique takeout offering. Trial of new items can be encouraged by the takeout menu as well. 79% reported that they like to try new things on the restaurant’s menu when they order meals to go.

There is no denying the convenience of delivery for the majority of those who participated in this survey. Yet, delivery is also an opportunity to build customer relationships as 82% of survey participants said they prefer to order directly from a restaurant rather than a delivery service. 

Source: Y-Pulse